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Japan corners the market on square fruit.
June 16, 2001 10:39 AM   Subscribe

Japan corners the market on square fruit. I suppose this is the ultimate example of form over function. Finally a solution for the widespread refrigerator overcrowding problems.
posted by ry (32 comments total)

 
Yeah, but can they do that with a banana? Or make fry-shaped potatoes? THEN we'd be talking 'bout progress.
posted by davidmsc at 10:52 AM on June 16, 2001


Eighty bucks for a watermelon seems a bit steep, but I guess if you've got serious space concerns, frugality takes a back seat. I wonder what might be next — square housepets? Imagine the space you could save if you could grow, say, a kitten in a tempered glass case. I wonder if anyone's ever thought of that.
posted by barkingmoose at 10:55 AM on June 16, 2001


Whoa, and here I thought it was a made up joke in a Simpsons episode.
posted by mathowie at 11:03 AM on June 16, 2001


Shit like this is why Japan still invokes all my mid-80's, early 90's, William Gibson-Mondo 2000-Neal Stephenson-pre-Negroponte-departure-from-the-back-page-of-Wired-esqe futurism fantasies.
Remember when only a small handful of people knew who Paul Van Dyk was?
Japan and it's weird square fruit does. Viva la Japan!

I just ate two dozen sugar cookies.
posted by dong_resin at 11:04 AM on June 16, 2001


What's amusing is that everyone is looking upon this as some kind of technological breakthough. This is an ancient technique. It's just that nobody's bothered before, though I'm sure they would have bothered earlier if they'd known they could fool people into paying $80 a pop for it.
posted by aaron at 11:24 AM on June 16, 2001


I suppose this is the ultimate example of form over function.

Quite the opposite, actually.
posted by pnevares at 11:26 AM on June 16, 2001


Actually Davidmsc, the first time i saw anything related to this phenomena was to do with straight bananas. The right-wing conservative tabloids here in England tried to put a spin on some EU trade authority attempt to regulate banana shape as a reason why we should all be anti-Europe. Unfortunately, it was rather effective. Not half as effective as the 'The Great British banger (sausage) is under threat from those barmy Europeans' campaign though.
posted by Kino at 11:30 AM on June 16, 2001


I wonder what Iron Chef Sakai could do with these.
posted by Steven Den Beste at 11:33 AM on June 16, 2001


This is an ancient technique.

Somewhere in my house we've got a clear mold of Lincoln, intended for growing squash in. It's also great for jello.
posted by skyline at 11:36 AM on June 16, 2001


Is anyone else having a Bonsai Kitten flashback?
posted by NortonDC at 11:38 AM on June 16, 2001


Is anyone else having a Bonsai Kitten flashback?

I'm experiencing déjà vu, that's for sure.
posted by barkingmoose at 11:50 AM on June 16, 2001


Yeah, but how do they taste?
(the watermelons, not the kittens)
posted by darukaru at 1:15 PM on June 16, 2001


Now, I would be the extra price is they would make....
Square Eggs!

Does Farm John, have some ancient technique for making the Square Egg, that you can only get if you drive out to his farm?
posted by Max's Daddy at 1:25 PM on June 16, 2001


Skyline, you just blew my mind.
posted by Hackworth at 1:32 PM on June 16, 2001


All fruits am square in Bizarro World.
posted by jjg at 2:36 PM on June 16, 2001


First his brother and now this. Will Gallagher ever maintain a solid grip on all the funny things to do with a watermelon?
posted by john at 2:47 PM on June 16, 2001


Japan and it's weird square fruit does. Viva la Japan!


Now if they can get a feminist movement going, they'd really be in the umm, past.
posted by skallas at 4:07 PM on June 16, 2001


Square eggs would be an unmitigated failure. The shell needs to be thin in order for little birdies (or turtles or whatever) to break they're way out (or to allow us to make an omeletter without breaking the yolk). The shape of an egg enables the this shell to retain a great deal of it's structural strength to withstand outside pressures.

Square eggs would just be a mess...
posted by fooljay at 6:30 PM on June 16, 2001


Not to mention the fact that it'd piss the hell out of the hens.
posted by crunchland at 7:48 PM on June 16, 2001


heh. Yeah, never thought about the "hen-user experience"

Okay, now I feel dirty...
posted by fooljay at 7:53 PM on June 16, 2001


Not if they were square hens.
posted by darukaru at 7:53 PM on June 16, 2001


And as Kepler pointed out a long time ago, there's actually a certain efficiency in the shape most fruit take. Cubic melons may fit into Japanese fridges, but they won't stack securely on a market stall.

(Jamie Oliver keeps his watermelons out of the fridge, but also saturates them with vodka. Now that's a preserving solution that I can go with.)
posted by holgate at 7:56 PM on June 16, 2001


Instead of another thread, I figured I'd just plant this here, as the official weird fruit story page.

That's right, carbonated fruit. I can say no more.
posted by aflakete at 8:18 PM on June 16, 2001


Back in the '70s one of the kids at my elementary school had a little plastic gadget for making square eggs. They had to be hardboiled first and shelled, but put 'em in this gadget overnight and you could stack 'em like ice cubes.

Remember when only a small handful of people knew who Paul Van Dyk was?

Yeah, it was just this morning.
posted by kindall at 9:58 PM on June 16, 2001


Part with a buck, kindall. You'll thank yourself.
posted by dong_resin at 10:14 PM on June 16, 2001


Thanks for the link, aflakete. I love the end of that story, which talks about "baked bean-flavoured peas and Brussels sprouts tasting of bubble gum."

O Brave New World, that has such pea pods in it!
posted by LeLiLo at 10:55 PM on June 16, 2001


Oh, I've heard of Paul Van Dyk. But 99% of people in this country still don't know who he is.
posted by kindall at 11:10 PM on June 16, 2001


Hey, we had a story about square pigs in my German book. This guy had this little piglets and he put them in boxes and fed them lots of food and they got fat and filled up the boxes and there he had these square pigs and he brought them into town and sold them to this circus guy but in a day or so they became round pigs again, or something.

I think Crean's decision that the editors of that book were on mescaline was pretty accurate, come to think of it.
posted by dagnyscott at 11:09 AM on June 17, 2001


Square pigs...where have I seen those before? Oh yeah, Space Truckers.
posted by john at 11:13 AM on June 17, 2001


Actually, really expensive melons are nothing new in Japan. Their watermelons happen to be really tasty. They're spherical, and they come in red and yellow, with pretty much the same taste. They also sell gift melons, which might not be limited to just watermelons, but might also be muscats (I can't remember). I don't remember quite how much those cost, but they're at least $40, maybe even $100, depending on the melon.
posted by MonkeyMeat at 12:34 PM on June 17, 2001


I hope no one tried to put the square pigs in round holes.
posted by rodii at 1:09 PM on June 17, 2001


By the way, anyone notice that we live in a 3-D world? Those melons are CUBES, not squares.
posted by rodii at 1:12 PM on June 17, 2001


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